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Road Runner Doesn't Do XP 438

PerlStalker writes: "Internet News has an article up that mentions, among other things, that Road Runner (owned primarily by AOL/TW) will not support XP. From the article: 'Road Runner, the second-largest cable Internet service provider (ISP) in the nation with more than 1.4 million subscribers, does not support the controversial new operating system (OS) for its customers and will not support its use on the cable network.'" Note that this doesn't stop customers from connecting to Road Runner from XP systems, but until their staff is trained specifically, Road Runner won't help them with technical problems arising from that combination.
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Road Runner Doesn't Do XP

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  • Ha! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quartz ( 64169 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:51PM (#2503880) Homepage
    So what's the big deal? Us Linux users have been there for quite some time, and we're still alive. :)
  • by Amazing Quantum Man ( 458715 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:52PM (#2503887) Homepage
    AOL, you couldn't have done it to a nicer monopoly!
  • Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imadork ( 226897 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:52PM (#2503890) Homepage
    Road Runner doesn't "Support" Linux either, but that hasn't stopped me.
    • Re:Big deal. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:00PM (#2503975)
      I've gotten support from Road Runner on Linux. I'm pretty sure it isn't official support, though. I even had one tech almost cream himself when I called with an OpenBSD question. He was more than glad to help out.

      • Re:Big deal. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by joabj ( 91819 )
        I've actually had one tech support guy on the cableco service I'm on (Starpower) *request* that we do troubleshooting through Linux, even though Starpower doesn't offically support Linux.

        I had dual boot connected to the cable modem which I kept specifically to keep Windows onboard for their benefit. The tech guy found it easier to diagnose the problem through Linux's IP tools though.

        • Wow. The last Cox tech I talked to seemed to be reading off a script.

          Me: I'm getting frequent timeouts when I try to connect to your usenet server. (Which is a Supernews corp account link)

          Tech: Uhh... What URL are you using?


          Me: I'm using XNews and connecting directly to the server. I'm not using a browser. XNews is reporting a timeout error about once a minute.

          Tech: I'm pretty sure we don't support that.

          Me: Can you tell me if you are having any connectivity issues with Supernews?

          Tech: Uh.... Have you contacted XReader's technical support?

          Me: Not Really. XNews is a one-man project. Still, I can replicate the error in any news reader. You can't tell me anything about any network connectivity problems you may or may not be having? Perhaps there's a machine that I need to allow to ping me through my firewall?

          Tech: Just a second.... (5 minutes pass) What are you doing that's causing that error.

          Me: Connecting to your usenet server or downloading binaries from it. I get the error when I connect, download headers, or download messages.

          Tech: I'm pretty sure we don't support that. Wait a second...

          (Lather, rinse, repeat...)
          • by bonzoesc ( 155812 )
            That's why it's nice to know how to use Microsoft crap. If you need tech support, go into Outlook User Emulation Mode, and make the tech feel like you're a Outlook Express user. Then, mentally translate his retard-code into smarty-man code to plug into your decent program.
      • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @09:31PM (#2505288)
        I don't know what's weirder - that Road Runner supported a OpenBSD question or that an OpenBSD user actually called their tech support. ;-)
    • On the other hand, Linux users are probably a little more technical adept then I imagine the typical XP user will be.
  • by totallygeek ( 263191 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:52PM (#2503893) Homepage
    Just because RoadRunner does not support Windows XP today does not rule it out tomorrow. Remember that a lot of people have Macintoshes, and I don't think that RoadRunner directly supports them either.

    Frankly, I am tired of hearing what operating systems are supported by Internet service providers. I am going to install DSL on a Linux box tomorrow night -- knowing that others have this working in the area, and was told by technical support with Southwestern Bell that this is impossible. Impossible! They did not say they wouldn't be able to support me -- they simply lied and said it would not work. How many folks with Macs or Windows XP are being told that they will not be able to use services? I am fairly sure if you pop in the CD you got from your ISP with Netscape 4.05 or IE 3.0 everything will work just fine on XP.

    • Just because RoadRunner does not support Windows XP today does not rule it out tomorrow. Remember that a lot of people have Macintoshes, and I don't think that RoadRunner directly supports them either.

      Actually, they do directly support Macintoshes, and have since its introduction.

      I also understand that a big reason why they ditched their "login" program was to make life easier for Linux users.
    • I am having a problem with BellSouth DSL on one of my client's machines right now. They will support XP, but only if you have an ethernet modem. This would have been my choice anyway, but this guy (the head of the company for one of my contracts) had DSL installed at his house, got the USB version, and bought a new box with XP on it.

      BellSouth has beta drivers for USB on XP, but I was told by two techs that they where pretty flakey, if you could get them to work at all, and the best bet would be either "downgrade" to 98 or exchange the modem for an ethernet model.

      That's what we did. They say that once the driver is finalized that they will support this configuration. One guy told me they already supported it, but 2 others said not to risk it.

    • If you get it going (esp networking multiple boxes to the DSL modem) let me know, I've had no luck yet. Speedstream 5260...

    • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @05:25PM (#2504467) Homepage Journal
      I'm one of PacBell's first DSL customers, and unlike others I've had wonderfull service from them (maybe 1 hour down time in a couple of years) .... well I did untill a couple of weeks ago ... my line went down, I was patient and waited a day to let them get their act together .... when nothing happened I called the hell known as "telephone support" ... after chasing thru voicemail who when told I had a Linux system told me that she could not EVER fix my problem.

      By this time I'd already debugged the problem, both from inside and outside and knew exactly which of their routers was misconfigured ... I have a fixed IP, hadn't rebooted my Linux firewall for over a year so it shouldn't matter which machine I run. No amount of persuasion would convince her that she should get beyond "you have Linux we won't fix your problem".

      Eventually I bit my lip and borrowed a windows box - went thru voicemail hell, then had to be handheld through "are you sure you typed in you IP address correctly" "but I tell you your router needs it's tables fixed" proccess at least 3-4 times before we got to "I'll refer you to my 2nd tier support - they'll call you on monday" (they didn't - in the end I was down 6 days, up a day down 4 more days before they fixed the problem - I did the telephone hell thing 7 times before stuff came back)

      Anyway one thing I realised - the people you call at the phone company when your line goes down know NOTHING about networking ... they're not trained to fix networking problems ... they are trained to fix M$ system setup problems, nothing else - not only that but they are pretty obviously under great pressure to fix ALL tech support problems this way - when I finally got through to the 2nd level people who actually know what they were doing things came back in under 5 minutes. However it's also pretty obvious that these people don't work weekends.

      It's pretty sad when your only usefull options for net connection consist of "the phone company" and "the cable company" - remember when you used to have a local ISP - and you could talk to someone who actually knows what they are doing

      • Yeah, so true. When I moved to a new apartment and had a DSL installed, I had horrible packet loss problems. I'm not sure what the cause was but they were clearly not on my end. The packet loss was so bad that the Windows PPPoE client supplied with the DSL didn't manage to connect at all; I could only get it working with a Linux client. I made the mistake of mentioning this to a tech support person and at that point it was impossible to get another word in, as though having once booted into Linux had forever ruined my chances of getting the modem to work.

        After three or so failed calls I got really pissed and threatened to change service if the lower-tier tech didn't tell someone who knew what they were doing about the packet loss. Fortunately, a few days later the problem was fixed.

      • Same here.

        I am behind a Linux firewall, typing this on Linux.
        My cable modem ( works just fine.

        When I first set up my system, the tech came by with my free network card (part of @home at that time) and I said, install the cable modem, give me my free NIC and go away.

        He insisted on installing the NIC... Until he saw my computer room with its 14 running systems (mostly *nix)

        I got my systems up without problem, then one day @homes DNS went down in my area, and their routers began dropping packets.

        When I phoned tech support to let them know they tried to "troubleshoot my system".

        I had to inform the tech that "No, my system is fine, your DNS on my node is down, and the router from here to Calgary is loosing packets."

        He could not understand that I had already switched over to my DNS servers at work (because theirs were down) and that the packet loss *HAD* to be on my end.

        Thank god I know the (former) tech-head for that section, got through to him and told him what was wrong. I spent ages on hold, and longer talking to Tier 1. As soon as I got bumped up, mentioned the problem my node was working again (no loss) within 15 min. I don't know about DNS though, because I have not switched back off of my servers at work.
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <{brento} {at} {}> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:52PM (#2503894) Homepage
    I have no clue why this is news. It took months and months for my ISP (SWBell) to "support" Windows 2000, a long time after it was released. Their client software wouldn't work on Win2k, and even though the maker had released a new version of the software, their staff wasn't trained on it. So oddly, if you could find the newer software by tracking down the manufacturer (who gave it away free), it would work fine.

    This is really no big deal. Lots of companies won't support XP yet. Even Symantec's pcAnywhere doesn't support XP yet. It's like this with every new operating system, and the way it will probably always be.
  • Linux and RR (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jdclucidly ( 520630 )
    I ran in to the same problem just recently. Not only does RR not support Win XP, but the reps have been told to effectivly 'hang up' on anyone using Linux.

    They recently misconfigured their DHCP server here in KC, MO. It took me six hours of arguing to finally get to someone who understand what DHCP was and that it had nothing to do with which client was connecting. They temporarilly fixed the problem, but this last weekend, they went back to the old way forcing me to patch around the probelm without help from RR.

    My /etc/hosts file contains all the possible combinations of host names they might assign me. Each one points back to so that I can start Gnome and XFS.

    They told me it was my problem for choosing an alternative opperating system, not theirs.
    • by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:13PM (#2504056)
      Based on my experience with Road Runner, the best time to call for support is late at night (around 2 or 3am). I don't know if I've just been lucky, but there are no hold times and the techs seem to enjoy what they're doing.

      As I stated in another response, I've gotten support for both Linux and OpenBSD by calling late at night. I had a guy walk me through setting up networking on the OpenBSD box... I had never tackled it before.

      I called during the previous day to see if they could help. The guy kept asking me which version of Windows I was using.


      "No sir, like I said, I don't need to know what applications are installed, I just need to know what version of Windows is on your computer. Is it 98?"

      "No, I'm running OpenBSD"

      "Sir, click on the start button and tell me what it says to the left of the menu."

    • Re:Linux and RR (Score:3, Insightful)

      by malfunct ( 120790 )
      I know that most of the /. types will cringe at this suggestion, but thats why you have a shitty box running win98 sitting around. All that is on it is a base install and the client software given to you by the DSL company (or cable or whatever). Then when you have a problem you plug in this "reference" machine and see what it does. If the problem is with the service the machine won't connect and Tech support will have no choice but to help you. Its what I do and I run all sorts of wierd OS's at home that my DSL company doesn't support and moreover says won't work on thier service.
      • by skroz ( 7870 )
        Yup. I do the same... works for all kinds of other things, too... it can be a doorstop, a small table, a step stool, a footrest, a bookend, a replacement for a broken couch leg, hot plate, chair...
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 )

      They told me it was my problem for choosing an alternative opperating system, not theirs.

      The key is to never, ever mention that you're running anything from whatever is the most common, otherwise they'll immediately blame your system. I recently had an incident where my cable modem couldn't connect to the local node (i.e. the cable/block-sync light was out), and upon calling and telling her that my cable light was out (pretty cut and dry issue) she immediately started walking through reversing the TP cable to my computer from the cable modem, Windows 9x steps to renew my DHCP certificate, checking if I could get to websites, etc. (all the time I'm pretending that I'm doing what she asks, hitting keys on my keyboard, etc. I actually have a FreeBSD firewall talking to the cable modem and doing NAT sharing for several XP/2000 machines, but of course I'm not going to mention that, and in any case the situation was brutally simple: My cable modem couldn't communicate with them. The bloody light doesn't lie. Anyways eventually she tells me to get out my Windows Me install disc (for the phantom Windows Me that I don't have installed) to reinstall some drivers at which point I exclaim "Uh, I really don't think this will help: The cable modem block-sync is out. That's the problem there". She replied "No sir, I'm communicating with your cable modem right now. It has an uptime of 5 days, blah blah". Well the funny thing is that since she kept insisting that she was talking to my cable modem, I had disconnected the cable from it about 90 seconds prior. I exclaimed "Well it must be a magic cable modem then because I unplugged the cable". There was silence on the line, and after a long pause she suddenly says "I'm sorry sir, it's my mistake. I must have entered a wrong number." and she setup a service call.

      Anyways I found that pretty funny how some techs have that "list of things to do" and they don't listen to the customer. If I hadn't pretended that I was doing her Windows ME steps she'd have informed me that I was running an uncertified setup or whatever and that would have been that.

  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:55PM (#2503918) Homepage Journal
    ...but my local roadrunner said that they'll do their best to help. They say that if you follow NT instruction, it works fine, and they already have a large userbase of XP users without any problems.

    Linux, on the other hand, isn't supported, and most of their techies have no idea how to help out. Not that its tough (standard DHCP connetion), but the average user would be better off with XP than Linux right now (sorry if that sounds trollish, but I don't think this article is "news". Anything that can hurt MS in the least is being published now-a-days).
    • as of 10/25/01 @Home supported XP. They are not allowed to setup the computer for remote access nor can they help the people change over to classic view (yet they prefer that) but they do support it.

      XP still makes you reboot when changing system settings, quite an annoyance for support personel.

      Are you sure that RR won't support it at least soon? Most of the staff would have to be retrained for it (as it is quite different from the other Windows based OSs). It also wasn't supported at @Home until the official release date, which pissed off a lot of people but what the hell were they doing w/a copy of XP before the date anyway?

      My biggest beef w/RR is the terrible ping response. They are way overselling the bandwith..

  • When I used to work in the "real" world, this would happen all the time. Brand new OSes are almost never supported directly. They'll eventually support it.

    By the way, there's an awesome driver called RASPPPOE which allows you to use PPPOE on Win2k/XP/etc. as if it were a regular network interface. No clutter, no dialing manager, nothing. I highly recommend it, and it probably works with rr on XP.
    • by spudnic ( 32107 )
      There's no dialing with RR. It's an always on connection. None of that garbage PPPoE dialup username/password stuff. (anymore) They did have a login screen, but got rid of it mainly to pacify all of the "alternate" OS users who where flocking to broadband.

      RR is by far the best broadband I've had. I've had ISDN, DSL from 2 telcos, and @home. The news servers are pretty good, and I average about 15Meg per minute pulling from them. That's a LOT of porn!
    • By the way, there's an awesome driver called RASPPPOE which allows you to use PPPOE on Win2k/XP/etc. as if it were a regular network interface. No clutter, no dialing manager, nothing. I highly recommend it, and it probably works with rr on XP.

      On Windows XP you don't even need this. Windows XP comes with PPPoE support out of the box, and it interfaces properly with your other ethernet cards and doesn't set up one of those annoying virtual ethernet adaptors that break everything.

      PPPoE support under Windows XP is quite cool. It's just like dialing up on a modem, only of course much quicker. And it works out of the box with NAT and all. Most of the PPPoE applications cringe with NAT software (mostly because they want to make it as difficult as possible to do NAT).
      • Most of the PPPoE applications cringe with NAT software (mostly because they want to make it as difficult as possible to do NAT).

        Just want to clarify what I mean. I mean that most other PPPoE dialers cringe with NAT software. I mean to say that Windows XP works fine with any NAT stuff, in fact its built into Windows - you just have to tick a box in XP and you're good to go, it'll setup DHCP and optionally a firewall for you, and has a very nice interface for port forwarding as well (on XP Professional) - you can just tick boxes for the ports you want to forward, and enter the Netbios name or the internal IP. It's very clean.

        Honestly I like Linux, and have nothing against it, but I like the Microsoft feel better, because the interface is so seamless. Things just work like you expect in XP. They've really done a great job. I don't like their business practices, but XP rocks. And yes, I'm what some people would call a geek/nerd or whatever. :)

        I can't wait for NAT with IPv6. Then finally P2P stuff won't break over NAT. Port forwarding works, but isn't really such a nice thing to do, hardcoding the ports and all.
  • Big deal (Score:3, Informative)

    by MentlFlos ( 7345 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:55PM (#2503927)
    I think it only really matters depending on who you get hooked up to when you call. I was having some issues with my RR account and at the time it was being NAT/Masq thru a FreeBSD box. Now RR had NO obligation to help me, but the guy I was talking to wanted to and actually had a clue about FreeBSD.

    Non-Official support is mainly a way so that if they can't help you, it's not their fault. It dosen't mean they _wont_ help. (save for the time you get the ass-much tech support guy on the other side who keeps insisting that you need to reinstall your TCP/IP stack because thats what his computer tells him you need to do, but thats another rant)


    • I had a guy tell me that on my Linux box!!!! No crap. I called up, and told the guy I was running Linux, and just needed him to put my MAC addy in the system.

      Why, dear god, can't someone stop these minimum wage screen readers from trying to re-invent the wheel??

      Me: Hi, I just got a new machine and I need you to put my MAC address in the system so I can connect to the network.

      Weasel: What seems to be the problem??

      Me: I can't get an IP because the new Mac address isn't in your system.

      Weasel: Are you running Windows??

      Me: Die Infidel!!!

      Generally by the time I'm at the "Tier 3 tech", I've already scanned their network (Class B) Twice! And he goes... "Oh, you need your Mac addy entered into the system?? No problem..."

      I don't believe that ISP's need to support home computers. It should be like the phone, we get it to the house, after that it's your baby.

      Get a good firewall/router and spoof everything. And then run your own warez site. Rave on cats!

      Hammy - Corporations are just better organized thieves.
  • ... that Microsoft was an investor in Road Runner, but the "Company Profile" [] on Road Runner's Web site says they're "owned and operated by Time Warner Cable" with no mention of other investors. Did Microsoft cash out?
  • Firewalls (Score:3, Informative)

    by NetSettler ( 460623 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:56PM (#2503936) Homepage Journal
    It amazes me that anyone would connect a home computer to the network without a firewall. RoadRunner works fine talking to a firewall and once behind that, you can put anything you want.

    What's surprising is not that RoadRunner staff won't interface to XP, but that they won't do installations with a firewall in place. Every time they want to debug something, they ask me to disconnect my firewall and attach my machine directly to the net. Of course, I don't. Fortunately, in my experience, the main thing that goes wrong with RoadRunner is that it "gets confused" and usually just "unplugging your cable modem for twenty minutes" has fixed me every time. Sigh.
    • in order to make sure that your connection is working they must be able to ping your computer. They make you take it down so that they can make sure that there is a connection to your modem and then to your computer (there are two seperate IPs, a local for the modem and a general one for the computer).

      It's just part of the system. If you don't take it down that's fine for the most part but it isn't going to make a big difference if you do for just a moment while they run the test.
    • It amazes me that anyone would connect a home computer to the network without a firewall.

      You've been brainwashed. Firewalls are absolutely unnecessary for networks with properly configured machines and semi-intelligent users. This is not unlike anti-virus software.

      I get so tired of hearing "Oh gawd, I would NEVER bypass my firewall. That's crazy!" What, pray tell, is vulnerable about a Windows machine on an unfirewalled network (provided that it's properly configured and unneeded services are disabled)?

      Firewalls are an extra level of protection - not a necessary one.

  • sort of reminds me of a story of a guy that ran Linux and needed general TCP/IP info to connect to the internet. So he calls up his ISP to get the info and they refuse to give it to him because he uses Linux. Anyway, no serious ISP would go any (long) length of time not supporting XP.
  • by jdgreen7 ( 524066 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @03:57PM (#2503944) Homepage
    This journalist spoke with two people at AOL/TW, and he got differing opinions. AOL/TW knows that they will need to support XP in order to keep (and expand) their customer base. I highly doubt that they've sat around for the last 6 months and said, "We're going to publicly say that we won't support XP... That'll stop Microsoft's evil scheme to stay #1 on the Internet!" They just haven't finalized the support docs for their staff yet. Big deal, XP has been out for less than a week. If you go out and upgrade over night, you should expect that some things won't be supported yet.

    My opinion is that this journalist just wanted to try and stir up more competition between AOL and MS. This article doesn't say that Roadrunner won't work on XP, it just says that they can't help if an end user has a problem. I've spoken with ISP techs that can't help me out with Windows 2000! Try to get Linux support from 90% of ISPs out there! No chance. This article is not worth the read.
  • Simple Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marillion ( 33728 ) < minus author> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:03PM (#2503996)
    Supported == Known to Work
    Not Supported != Does not Work
    • Re:Simple Rule (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DunbarTheInept ( 764 )
      Try telling that to the morons* who work the phones and sales. We know that "unsupported" doesn't have to mean "won't work". But the people we have to talk to to get things set up (or to let them know they have a problem on their end) don't know that. Instead we get ignored unless we are willing to lie and pretend to be using a different OS.

      I understand that they shouldn't have to understand the technical details of all OS'es. I'm not asking them to. I'm saying they shouldn't assume all problems are on the customer's end - which is exactly what they are doing when they refuse to talk to anyone not running an OS the phone people know about. They should at least *check* that things are working on their end before they blow you off and say, "not our problem."

      This problem, I think, comes from the fact that phone support these days starts with a mandatory bozo filter - a checklist to walk through that catches the cases of PEBKAK* before escalating to a person with actual technical knowlege. That bozo filter checklist is tailored to the OS the user is using. If you can't pass the bozo filter, you can't get to someone who might actually know something. If they have no bozo list for your OS's setup procedure, then you can't get past the level 1 people.

      * - Not all phone people are morons. Some of them are qualified. But the majority of them aren't anymore.
      * - PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:04PM (#2504009) Homepage Journal
    Might as well say Windows 2000, its networking is the same. Why put fuel on the fire and tell them your running an unsupported product.

    I dont tell the phone monkeys im running linux, I say yup, running windows, whats the IPs/settings.

    In fact, I have to lie about what browser im running, what OS im running etc... No monoploy, Uh-huh...

  • I'm a longtime roadrunner subscriber, and i can tell you from experience that RR is not very quick to support anything that isn't windows9x or MacOS 8+. They've been nothing but a pain in the ass every time i've contacted them for support, especially with Linux questions.

    However, somewhat to roadrunner's advantage, XP seems to integrate pretty flawlessly with the service. I did an install a few days ago that went about as smoothly as anyone could possibly hope for. Definitely a feather in XP's cap, but maybe a stroke of good luck for the RR support people.
    • by rrdejay ( 226914 )
      Coming from a RR employee for Tier 3. Ya its really bout what have been tested a million times. But honestly 9x is a NIGHTMARE let me repeat a NIGHTMARE to support. So many bugs. Now microsoft is smart. They created new bugs to cover up the older bugs in their os's.
      BTW the current specs for RR support are as follows.
      full support
      windows 98
      windows me
      windows 2k
      mac os 8.6 or better for classic
      pent 166
      32 MB ram
      250 MB hd

      best effort
      anything under hardware spec
      os x
      windows xp

      xp will supported a month from release as per previous history

  • Perhaps it is because of some networking misbehavior on the part of XP.

    Here's a mail message that came from Richard B. Johnson ( on the LKML less than a week ago, which I thought was interesting:

    Subject: M$ Does it again
    Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 09:38:12 -0400 (EDT)
    From: "Richard B. Johnson"
    To: Linux kernel

    I am told that the latest Windows/XP has a Trojan built into it.
    This was done as part of a deal with the United States Department
    of Justice in settling the long term problem with Microsoft's
    monopoly conviction.

    This Trojan, upon specifc network inquiry, has the capability
    of sending any intelligence that exists within the computer,
    (Motherboard type, Peripherals, hard disk contents, the contents
    of video buffers, etc.) to a remote network agent, any time the
    machine is connected to a network.

    Since the secret inquiry commands and port(s) must be known by
    the developers, I hope that somebody is working on a Linux clone
    that will pretend that it's a M$ machine owned by the Pope.

    Anyway, I have a XP machine here. I have monitored its startup
    with a phony static IP address and NO default route that should
    not be able to be routed out of the LAN. It does a lot of
    network chatter and actually communicates with a name server
    outside of our firewall!

    I tried to find out how, so I first wanted to find some
    M$ servers. This is what whois reports!!


    Whois Server Version 1.3

    Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to
    for detailed information.


    Anyway, XP will certainly find its way around a network. It discovers
    any Microsoft servers on the LAN and uses their default route. That's
    how it finds the firewall. It then queries a bunch of servers using
    port 53 (DNS) and does a zone-dump. Then it uses the mail port 25 to
    exchange information. This information is not text. I don't know
    what it is.

    It does this all upon startup! Our firewall doesn't 'know' about
    this machine. It shouldn't even be able to talk outside because
    our firewall interface does NAT and nobody has configured it for
    the new machine.

    If somebody has the time, it would be a good idea to look into
    how they do this stuff and make some Linux software to emulate,
    attack, expose, and thereby destroy the new Microsoft capability.

    Dick Johnson
    • by corky6921 ( 240602 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @05:44PM (#2504562) Homepage
      It does a lot of network chatter and actually communicates with a name server outside of our firewall!

      *sigh*. I love it when people write conspiracy theories when it's really just a standard Dynamic DNS client that is poking around on the network.

      Once again, this is a cool idea that Microsoft has implemented if your corporation uses nothing but Microsoft servers. (Note: this is the same dynamic DNS that is used by many websites to give you your own domain name, so you don't have to have a Microsoft server to support it. However, most regular DNS servers do not have this option enabled.) The dynamic DNS option is enabled by default, however, in Windows 2000, and it causes a waste of network services (to the point of becoming a DOS attack on a company's DNS servers) when those DNS servers do not support it. Here is more information (that I wrote when researching it for my company):

      Windows 2000 supports something called Dynamic DNS (DDNS), which lets clients automatically update their own A records. This means that a DNS server supporting Dynamic DNS would be almost completely self-maintained, as whenever the computer connects or disconnects from the network, it adds/removes its own records. It basically completely eliminates the need for static IPs (except for things like web servers and such that touch the outside world.)

      Unfortunately, Microsoft, in its blind Microsoft-only world, made Dynamic DNS registration turned on by default on all Windows 2000 clients, even in companies without a dynamic DNS server. This creates a lot of unnecessary traffic on the network as every time the computer connects or disconnects, it sends a little message to the DNS server. I've even been told (without proof) that it sends a request to every DNS server on its list, possibly upgrading the request all the way to the root server if it doesn't get its way with the first server on its list.

      This had a lot of UNIX admins frightened about job security (my take: if you're sitting there all day updating DNS records, you better find some new job skills anyway) and it has evolved into a fascinating topic of research for me. Some pretty good takes on it can be found here:

      (Yale: Making UNIX DNS servers and Windows 2000 play nice) []
      (eWeek article from 1999 discussing Windows 2000 DDNS and the impact it has on UNIX DNS servers) []

      This is really interesting because it's one small facet of the many ways Microsoft is subtly pushing UNIX around. ("Hey! We have this cool thing implemented in Windows now! Fire your UNIX sysadmins and throw away your UNIX servers, because our servers are so much easier to maintain!")

      • The trouble with Mickeysoft's DDNS is that they want to write records using prohibited character sets.

        The other annoying thing (at least with BIND 8.x) is that enabling client updates kind of mangles nicely formatted zone files. This isn't MS's problem, and is probably overridable by $INCLUDE-ing the nice stuff and letting the primary zone file get mangled, er dynamically updated.
      • From the Yale document on DDNS:
        Active Directory DNS entries are made in four special "zones" that go along with each active directory domain. These zones have the names _msdcs, _tcp, _udp and _sites. If you have fully dynamic name service, these zones are created for you. For example, if you have an Active Directory domain named "", there are zones created with the names "", "", "", and "" as part of the Active Directory installation process to hold your domain's information.

        You mean to tell me, that all this time, I could have been sending all those stupid Win2K machines that hammer my nameserver with SRV requests, over to Microsoft's DNS servers for some quality hammer time?

        OH JOY!
    • I don't have an XP box or I would try this myself, but you could just place the XP box as the only node on the other side of a Linux firewall, run tcpdump on the firewall and capture all the data going though it while the XP box is starting up and dump that to a file. Then run snort against the dump file to see what is going on. Might take a little custom rule writing tho.
  • It's very typical for companies to not support a new or different OS when it comes out. It's got nothing to do with ill feelings and everything to do with training. Most support desks will not put a lot of effort into training their reps on a new OS until it's proven there is a demand for the support. I used to work for a helpdesk that wouldn't support Win98 when it came out, even though it was very similar to 95. It was just a matter of liability and training.

    If XP takes off and becomes commonplace, they'll end up supporting it. It just takes time. I've seen companies that swore they'd never support Linux turn around a couple years later and start supporting it. The rule is if supporting it makes a dramatic impact on customer satisfaction, they'll do it.
    • I hate replying to myself, but this point I forgot to mention. If you read the article, it pretty much makes the same point I just stated. I like to laugh at MS getting bashed on as much as the next person, but this really isn't a worthy bash.
      • Why would you want to laugh about "MS getting bashed on" after seeing this?

        It seems to me that the vast majority of slashdotters consider the fact that these providers don't "support" Linux to be a leading cause of evil in the world, depriving people of their constitutional right to broadband, and furthering the M$ monopoly. Seeing so many people ready to applaud this action just goes to show -- most people here really don't care as much as they claim to.

  • corporate warfare (Score:2, Interesting)

    by passion ( 84900 )
    this raises the notion that in the future, we could see some serious corporate warfare... If, perhaps AOL/TW were to decide to actually *block* XP users - some brutal choices would be made pretty quickly... and I doubt that RoadRunner has enough leverage to scare people away from XP. Instead, people would just find another ISP.

    Now, OTOH, M$ has enough muscle and monopoly power to prevent XP users from using RoadRunner without detrimental effects to their userbase.

    This would be the true test of the strength of their monopolies. Viciously attack another monopoly, and see who retreats.
  • I used to work for a cable company, and I was a cable modem tech support rep. (We all have part-time jobs while in college.) We didn't support Windows 2000 when it first came out either. In fact, I don't think they still don't support Windows 2000.

    Cable carriers are relatively new to the idea of computer support. It will be a while before they realize that they actually have to train their staff when new OSes come out. The carrier I worked for provided absolutely no technical training at all. What you walked in the door with, is what you got. So they obviously tried to hire only people who could already perform the job, and then gave them basic training on the customer database and trouble-ticket software. Oh, I almost forgot, they gave us a piece of paper that outlined the steps required to identify a modem that needed a truck roll. It was pretty basic. Unplug modem, wait 30 seconds, plug back in, wait 1 minute, check light patterns, etc.

    The point is they haven't had to train staff on supporting new OSes yet. They've been lucky thus far, as Windows 2000 can be brushed off as a 'business OS that residential service providers shouldn't have to support', but XP is a different animal. It is a home user OS. They're going to have to train their personel. I'm just curious to see how long they try to get by with what they have before they cave and fund the training.
  • by SteveX ( 5640 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:28PM (#2504157) Homepage
    I called Rogers in Canada (Ontario) for help with a connection problem from a machine with Windows XP on it, and even though the problem had nothing to do with Windows XP, they refused to help me because I was using an unsupported operating system.

    Funny thing is, I called back a few days later, and the guy helped me. I mentioned the earlier call and he told me that they weren't going to support XP, but then Future Shop (a big PC retail chain in Canada) started shipping PCs bundled with the Rogers service and Windows XP.. and they had to start supporting it.

    He said they got a few sheets of paper with some screenshots and that was it - limited support, but still, better than being told to go away.

    Funny thing is, XP's TCP/IP support is fairly well set up to help the tech support guys - if you go into the properties for the network connection there's a tab that's got a summary of all the connection's settings and a "Repair" button that resets the interface and renews the DHCP lease..

    - Steve
  • There isn't some horrible conspiracy - it's just that they have to test XP and make sure support's ready to guide people through it (as was mentioned in the newspost, but I don't think immediately gathered).

    It may have a lot of similarities to Windows 2000, but strictly speaking the GUI is pretty different. I work tech support, and we sometimes have problems even getting people to the Run command - imagine what it will be like when you have to check if someone's using the XP or classic Start menu (so certain icons are in one place but not the other), whether they're using the simplified control panel or not... you get the idea.

    There's also the problem of the code base - it's not going to be the same as for a 2000 user (and certainly not a 9x user). At work we've had people come in and complain of a mysterious slowdown, and then mention "oh, this happened just after I installed XP." They don't know if your hardware drivers might be poor for 2000/XP, whether it's something in the TCP/IP stack, or even just the drain on the OS from all the eye candy.

    From what I've heard they may well have full-on support in about 30 days (this may change), but I don't think anyone here should accuse them of malice in that regard (now, the quality of support in a particular tier is a different matter...)

  • I've been on RR for a year-and-a-half now, and they've never supported any of my operating systems (Linux and Win2K). Of course, the only tech support I've asked for involved a dead line, and that has nothing to do with my OS.

    RR support is designed for people slightly more savvy than your average AOL user; they expect questions about setting up DHCP, or changing the browser's homepage. Frankly, anyone running Win2K, XP, or Linux should be smart enough not to need hand-holding by RR's staff.

    • its not the hand holding that people want, it is the polite customer care that supported OSs get. Just cause I run Linux and I call knowing that it is my connection to them that is messed up not my TCP/IP stack, does that mea that they should ignore everything after the word Linux? No.

      infact if I call to let them know I have an issue and say, "I am running Linux but I can support that on my own, the problem is on your end, please check out you systems."

      I don't even give them time to respond, of cource sitting on hold for 20 min then getting a droped transfer to customer support making me call back and sitt on hold for another 30 min at customer support kind of makes you a little pushy :-)
  • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:38PM (#2504217)
    Since they say the wont help you with a problem if you are running XP, I have to ask...what happens if its THEIR problem.

    When I moved into my house last year, I got road runner installed. When the install tech set it up, everything worked fine right off the bat, but he said (since I used the self install option) I would still need to call their tech support and register the serial # and Mac Address of the modem and/or my NIC (cant remember which).

    That night I call up their tech support give them the info, they "put it into the computer", and say thank you very much. Everything is fine and dandy.

    A day and a half later, suddendly my connection stops working. The modem has a block synch light (so its not the physical cabling), but I cant get any DHCP info (so I have no IP...not quite gonna work very well on the net). After playing around with my system I was sure it wasnt me, so I called them up. I got some tech support idiot who insists its my machine. I tell him everything has been fine and I double checked and I'm positive its their problem, but he doesnt believe me.

    him: "Can you do an ipconfig /renew?"
    me: "I already did that, but sure...nope dont work"
    him: "can you unplug the modem fo 60 seconds?"
    me: "Already did that for 5 minutes, but Ill do it again....nope dont work?

    After going through a bunch of this type of crap, changing settings, disabling internet connection sharing (which he ASSURED me was the reason I wasnt getting a connection, even though it had worked for more than a day), he finally wants me to uninstall and reinstall my TCPIP driver/NIC drivers.

    him: "You are gonna need your windows CD for this. do you have it handy?"
    me: "Well, I have it, but I just moved into my house 2 weeks ago and its buried somewhere in a box."
    him: "Well can you go look for it?"
    me: "Look, Im really pretty sure this problem is on your end"
    him: "can you please look for it...Ill wait"

    so off I go looking. 5 minutes later I have the CD, go through a bunch of crap with him. finally

    me: "nope, dont work"
    him: "well, now Im gonna need you to..."

    at this point, Ive been talking to this idiot for 45 minutes, continually telling him the problem is on their end. Finally, I reach my limit and YELL at the guy that its their problem.

    him: "please hold......(2 minutes later)....ok, Im gonna transfer you to another tech now and he will be able to help you:

    When I get this new tech, I tell him the problem and why I think its on their end. So he pulls up my info
    tech2: "I dont have any info on your NIC or modem"
    me: "I called it in 2 days ago and they entered it"
    tech2: "well its not there. Can I have it again please?"
    me: "ok here it is....."
    tech2: "hmmm, thats funny. your modem is still registered at the previous address."

    I basicly spend an hour on the phone trying to convince them its their problem, and I was right. When their tech said he took/entered my info a few days back, he lied. After getting tech 2, I had service restored and was off the phone in 5 minutes. However, what if I had an unsupported OS. What would have happened? It was their fault, but they would have been unable to diagnose the problem and assumed it was my fault.
    • I think you put this in the wrong thread. I'm almost certain that it belongs here. []
    • Funny...

      I use Southwestern Hell for my DSL. I was getting line noise errors in my router log so I called them and told them they needed to turn down the noise margin ration on my line. They told me...

      Them: let's go clear out your cookies
      Me: What? Why? I want to keep some of them?
      Them: Well, sometimes if your browser gets too full of cookies, the whole internet stops working...
      Me: No, I won't delete my cookies, fix the noise margin ratio...

      Took about 2 weeks to resolve the problem and about 5 hours total of "on hold" time waiting to speak to morons.

    • This is why I cut first level tech off after 5 minutes. I never reinstall my ip stack (if i can't hit something else on my network, i won't call tech support), and I tell them i have windows. I'm just glad i've got a real isp [].

      As for unsupported OSes, you basically lie. " What do you support? Oh, funny, that's what I have". The way I figure, first level TS isn't paid enough to care about me or if I lie.

  • As a Road Runner user, I can verify the fact that they pretty much don't support anything. No home networks is a big one. The only thing about them is that they have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy about home networks. If you call for support they will make you hook the cable modem directly to one PC for trouble shooting.

    Their service has been pretty good, but this is unsurprising, and somewhat suspect "news".

  • by opkool ( 231966 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:43PM (#2504245) Homepage
    Yes, this is not a new thing on ISP.

    My ISP, Bellsouth [], did the same when Windows2000 was born. So it was funny to see the rp-pppoe.tar.gz on the "drivers CD" and the note on their site about not supporting Windows 2000.

    Actualy, it makes the most sense for a serious company: Do not support a new product unless you have people trained in that product.

    It should't be so "unusual". Actualy, the article would have been more shocking like this:

    "YouNameIt ISP supports Windows XP even before October, 1st."

    "We do not need no stinkin trainin', said Joe Sixpack, CEO of YouNameIt ISP. "

    "Any bozo with a hand able to point-and-click should do fine with any Windows version. And if anything happens, well, the Client Agreement made the user to surrender any right to protest against us. Heck, in the Alient Agreement even states that we take no responsability even if the user cannot never connect to internet!"
  • The whole story is cooked up on the basis of a conversation with a customer service rep. who quite obviously does not have much idea what is going on and has probably been trained not to make commitments for future service.

    It would be somewhat surprising if AOL had trained their entire support staff to support XP within days of the launch.

    What is more surprising is that so many slashdotters are jumping with glee because AOL is giving Microsoft the shaft, if AOL does not want to support Microsoft it is a dead certainty that it won't be supporting Linux. Say goodbye to the Internet and hello to pop-up ads.

  • ISP Support (Score:4, Insightful)

    by freakinPsycho ( 23459 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @04:49PM (#2504279) Homepage
    I've done ISP support, so I can understand where they are comming from. For the ISP to support it they need at least one copy of the OS and for each person in their tech support center to spend time on it. It's hard to support at first, though most techs will at least try (at least the better ones will.)

    I also see a lot of people saying how ISPs don't support *nix. There's good reason for that. There's a lot more involved in getting a *nix box set up to do dial-up than there is with other OS's. Time is money. The tech needs to get the call over as quickly as possible, and preferably in one call. That's incredibly difficult with *nix. You also have the problem of different kernel versions and modules that need to be in place, different software packages and versions, and a user (and tech) who actually can find all the files and know what needs to go in them. Mac and Win* are fairly simple, there is at least a similar interface between the various versions. That is nowhere near true with *nix. We handled *nix calls by saying "I can't help you, but here's the information you need. If you don't know where the info goes, check the HOWTO's."

    Not only is configuration a problem with *nix, but so is troubleshooting. Having a user run around their system, checking files (in different places for different distro's and configuration setups) for things, having them go root for some things, that's beyond what most tech support people are able or willing to do. Do you want to lead someone on a chase through their system as root, changing various files, checking their kernel config, software config, and various other options, all over the phone?

    Mac is easy, once you know how to do it. But, again, the techs need access to a Mac. In our call center we had one that we could use. Most of the tech's, though, couldn't answer Mac questions. When all they know and use is Windows, it's hard to teach them all the troubleshooting for another OS. There were a few of us who knew Mac's networking inside and out, and we were the ones who always took the calls.

    Also, look at training costs involved. It's quick and easy to train someone to troubleshoot/config Windows. But teaching people *nix so that they can troubleshoot those problems is expensive and time consuming. Because of this, it becomes policy within a company not to support certain things. Mac, Win3.1 (yes, it is still in use), *nix, etc. are just too much for a company to try to handle. They stick with what is easy and is on a majority of the desktops. That's simply good business sense. Train other people to do more when you can, but you can never support everything and shouldn't try, either.

    As I saw pointed out by someone else, it will be supported, but in a few months. We didn't support Win2k at first, but eventually we did. That involved me making a troubleshooting manual for it and distributing it. That kind of thing takes time, so it will happen, but it could be a few months.

    • The tech needs to get the call over as quickly as possible, and preferably in one call.

      Of course. Tech support has nothing to do with solving customer problems, it's all about racking up entries in the call log.

      That's incredibly difficult with *nix.

      Bullshit. You're just a lame tech support know-nothing.
      • Re:ISP Support (Score:2, Insightful)

        Of course. Tech support has nothing to do with solving customer problems, it's all about racking up entries in the call log.

        Actually, it's about money. (isn't everything in business?)

        Let's pretend it's outsourced tech support (since most of it is anyway).

        Phone lines (probably multiple T1's or similar)
        Internet Connection (agian, T1's or greater)
        Upkeep of various things
        etc. (there's a lot, you get the idea)

        Money from ISPs. This is either a flat contract (so much per month/subscriber) or on a per call basis.
        At the company I was at, for us to make money, the calls had to be under 7 minutes.

        If it isn't outsourced, then the only income is from the fees the user pays. This still leaves you with a limited amount of time to get the problem resolved and not be losing money.

  • There is also no support from Qwest when you have the internal Intel PRO/DSL 2100 Modem. That is because there are no XP drivers. But the Windows 2000 drivers [] work just fine ...
  • by aonaran ( 15651 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @05:16PM (#2504416) Homepage
    In the world of cable modems there are generally 3 types of "techs"
    1. the Customer Service/Tech Support person
    2. the Cable T.V./Internet installer tech
    3. the Computer/Network tech

    If you get one of the first 2 you are most likely to have trouble getting beyond a script or simple proceedures that they have learned. These techs do not understand how computer systems and networks work, they only know how to do certain tasks that solve most problems. #3 is the guy who will be able to solve almost any problem.... the drawback is in order to get to #3 you usually have to go through one or both of the first 2, and there is good reason for that, techs of type 3 are in short supply and VERY busy.
    ...this is why as a cable company grows the tech support, if not taken care of properly goes to shit. in the early days the computer tech takes care of or oversees everything to do with computers, but eventually parts of that job get doled out to the installers and CSRs. ...big companies trying to save $$ often hire out some of the Telephone support to call centers, these callcenters don't always send their personnell for training, but just give them scripts to follow "if problem=a try b..."
  • Umm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2001 @05:42PM (#2504545)
    SO what's the big deal?
    "Our staff is not trained on XP yet, so we can't offer support yet".
    Fair enough
  • Back when Northpoint went belly up (Mar-Apr '01) I had a choice between switching my 1.5Mbps SDSL to Rhythms (also a floater now), going with RoadRunner Cable (2M/384kbps in NYC), or reverting back to my dual 56K mux modem (11KB/s ... Wow!).

    Of course, survival probability and bang/buck was on Cable's side, so I picked up the self install kit from a Time Warner office down the street (I remember the sales girl wistfully mentioning to me that she didn't have cable herself; that she didn't even own a TV; that she reads mostly. I still haven't figured out what kind of signal she was sending me...but I smelled geek! And not a bad looking one either.)

    I was multibooting Win98/Linux at the time, but pretended that I was running Linux only in order to impress her and get some raw network info so I didn't have to install Time Warner's lame win32 client software in the case of network weirdness.

    Well, she wasn't impressed by linux (she's from the book-geek-only tribe I guess) and couldn't give me any additional info, so I went home (to my other woman :), killed my static DSL IP, and let DHCP do the rest without having to install any craptacular, bloated, windows-only, hand-holding gatekeeper-ware.

    What does this lame short story have to do XP? Not much, other than the fact that an ISP "supporting and OS" should be as easy as DHCP (1, 2, 3. Get it?); which it was for me, and which it should be for most others.

    I guess the only remaining issues are things like mail and news servers that don't usually auto-configure themselves... and client hijack-ware that isn't ready to rewire WinXP configs.

    IMO, ISP's shouldn't have to _actively_ support any OS. ISP's should only be there to bitch at when your connection dies for ~5 minutes every mine is now!!

  • by Da VinMan ( 7669 )
    Only the fact that this relates to XP keeps it from being completely irrelevant (and it's still not relevant). Also Road Runner is being very irresponsible in publishing their opinion about an OS they've admitted to barely touching.

    Still think this is news? OK.. Then does Road Runner support BeOS, *BSD, etc? I very much doubt it. But can customers still use those OS'es in using their service? I very much think so. All it takes is a DHCP client and the network card they give you (to which you're typically tied to the MAC address and usually can not swap out; at least in my case that's true). But did Road Runner come forward with a bold announcement about not supporting those? Nope.

    As usual, the early adopters will respond with a quiet sigh of tolerance and do whatever the hell they feel like doing anyway.

    Good grief...
  • why don't they just ship a few thousand AK-47's and ammunition to Microsoft's headquarters.

    This is just the sort of thing that Microsoft can use to say: "look, DOJ, look at AOL's anticompetitive practice - they're not supporting XP on purpose to hurt our revenues, and since they have Market Power (TM), they can leverage that against Microsoft, so Microsoft is *not* a Monopoly, and you must drop the case against us!"

    Sometimes I wonder if they aren't all secretly in cahoots. This is just terrible news for consumers no matter how you look at it.
  • Hey! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tbaggy ( 151760 )
    Yo! How about Road Runner paying their employees more than $5.50/hr! Then they might be motivated enough to learn the XP OS themselves so that when Xmas hits and all those new XP boxes get sold, a customer can actually use Road Runner instead of possibly looking at alternatives (dsl?).

    Sheesh, you're only as good as your customer support.

    Now, there may be some hidden agenda behind not officially supporting XP, but why bother? Just let the calls trickle in, work it normally...let the call engineer learn as he goes - assuming you don't have monkies at the support center, you'll be ok, and you may pick up a couple of extra customers to boot!!

    No wonder these people are bankrupt.
  • The only 'We support this ...' statements you need from ISPs are:

    We support TCP/IP.
    We support DHCP.
    We support POP3/IMAP.
    We support ...

    Get it ? The rest is in the upper layers and is totally tranparent to what an ISP must provide. If you people have problems with XP and your ISP, it's M$ you should rely on not the ISP.

    Road Runner is probably stating this to prevent flood of calls to their offices... ( Yes i believe that they will get tons of calls because of XP. )
  • Why is this news on Slashdot? It's not unusual for a help desk, whether it's Internet based or any other, to support an OS soon after release.

    I would say it would be more unusual for a help desk to actually support an OS within even a couple of months of release.

    A help desk I used to work for only started to officially support Win2000 6 months ago (which is what, 2 years after release?). They didn't start supporting NT until 98 or so.

    Again, I ask, why is this story even on /. ? it's definately not newsworthy. I've also noticed that most of those articles and duplicate articles are posted by timothy. Is this a trend? Hmmmmm

    What's the next news headline? CmdrTaco eats at KFC?

  • Road Runner doesn't care for ACME-distributed products, either. And I'd wager that coyotes [] aren't all that popular as well.

  • I am surprised that Road Runner isn't supporting Windows XP at this time. Obviously, they aren't the only ones - this seems to be commonplace. However, this doesn't make it any less surprising.

    Consider these facts:

    - Everybody, including RR, knew that Windows XP was going to launch this week. It wasn't like this was a surprise to anyone.

    - The Beta and RC versions of Windows XP have been available for months. Certainly they could have been testing it out and developing support scripts for it.

    - There are going to be a lot of people moving to Windows XP. With new PC shipping with it pre-installed, and with the big XP marketing push, they are probably going to be flooded with questions about XP support. I imagine that they will scare a lot of non-tech users away from using their service with blanket statements like "we don't support XP". The non-tech uses are going to be driven to some other ISP.

    - As others have pointed out, offering XP support is probably not that difficult. It's probably a matter of figuring out what icons to click and what buttons to push. Certainly some bright tech should be able to write up a support document in a couple hours (if that).

    I can at least understand dragging their heels on Windows 2000 support to some extent. After all, the average home user isn't going to get a PC with it pre-installed. However, given that XP is supposed to be the consumer Windows operating system, not offering support for it seems like dumb from a PR standpoint.

  • Look out for Microsofts response: Windows XP no longer support Road Runner, or any AOL/TW products.
  • Yeah, and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @02:13AM (#2505972) Homepage
    And Qwest (being sued) has known about xp for a long time too. 260,000 customers of theirs have the "intel series" of modems, which also do not work with WIN XP as of yet. Intel, being the lazy fucks that they are, haven't written the drivers for the 2200 / 3200 yet. I don't blame them, a 2100 goes on ebay for a whopping five bucks, but manufacturers that dont write drivers for old hardware really, really piss me off.

    Ironically, the intel 3200 does not work (period, it's not unsupported, it simply doesn't work) with VIA chipsets, but thats a conspiracy theory for another day.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.